INSIDE SOLARIS: THE PRESENCE OF GAME TECHNOLOGY IN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
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Tarkovsky’s 1971 film Solaris is an exquisitely evocative meditation on the relationship between technology, memory and loss – not only through it’s presentation of the characters, narrative and themes of Stanislav Lem’s novel, but also through the specific qualities of film as a medium of perception (Tarkovsky). Tarkovsky’s oeuvre itself, particularly Nostalgia and Stalker, are tours-de-force in this respect. Yet there is always a melancholic distance between the viewer and the medium, perhaps impossible to traverse in any medium, but especially recognized in Tarkovsky’s work. This in fact is a key issue, as Doležel has outlined in his study of literature and possible worlds, in the understanding of the force of fictional constructs within the representative arts, including literature (Doležel). The need to explain how it is possible and necessary to construct possible worlds that have both representative similarities with the real world and with hylomorphic qualities (i.e. a purposive and necessary form) in and of themselves is an opportunity that the making of digital environments cannot avoid. This paper questions whether the same material for ‘world-making’ might be possible in persistent digital environments as there is in film. In the quest for an increasingly vivid experience of the presence of architecture, digital means of representation have achieved significant successes. Interestingly, there remains the opportunity to consider modes of digital realization as being sufficiently material within their mode of delivery – digital media. If we stay within the digital there are a number of modes by which its architectural product can be experienced. The question of this paper concerns the manner in which a recent mode of digital representation and exploration has developed: the game engine.
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